Cancun ads promote off-season travel

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CANCUN, Mexico -- The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau launched an advertising campaign in the U.S. in an effort to boost travel to the Mexican resort during the traditionally slower spring and summer months.

The initiative, which carries a $3.2 million price tag, is essentially a cooperative effort between the bureau and major travel industry suppliers American Express, Gogo Tours, Mark Travel Corp. and MLT Inc.

Cooperative ads began running in March and are scheduled to continue through June in major metropolitan daily newspapers in 12 markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Advertising in major travel and leisure magazines is part of the campaign, as is the display of billboards promoting Cancun and the participating suppliers will be placed in the 12 major cities.

In addition, 100,000 direct-mail inserts promoting Cancun will be sent along with American Express bills and tour operator mailings.

A Web site, www.cancunnow.com, promoting the campaign is scheduled to be launched in April, enabling browsers to request information about Cancun and link to participating wholesalers' sites.

Miguel Borge Martin, president of the convention and visitors bureau, said the campaign is intended to "bring Cancun's message directly to the consumer."

"This is a highly targeted, well-funded and creatively envisioned effort," Martin said. "With the support of some of the industry's biggest players, we are taking the promotion of Cancun to a higher level."

The convention and visitors bureau was formed in November 1996 and is comprised of eight board members, four from the private sector and four from the government.

All of the hotels in Cancun are members, and they help fund promotional programs through a 2% room tax.

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